I think now would be a good time (I don't think we're making it to the NIT) to reflect on the season, and look at where we are now compared to not only where we were at the beginning of the season but also compared to where we expected to be at. We all tempered our expectations in November, knowing that this was the ultimate "rebuilding" year and we were patient with the losses and poor play given our relatively weak personnel (both in quality and quantity). But I think we can all be really happy with how this season played out and where we are going forward. I think we should go through some specific figures to see how we stand relative to the beginning of the season.
Stoglin - Stogs was the key to our team this year, but I don't think that surprised anyone. We quickly learned how valuable he was to our team and how good he really is. I don't think there's too much to say, except that I really hope he'll stay next year and I think he could improve even more under Turgeon.
Faust - Nick was a weird case this year because at the beginning of the season we set the bar really high for him and we were expecting big things from him. Early on in the season, it became clear that he wasn't who we thought he was, he lacked confidence attacking the rim, and his shot was downright awful. But he is improved drastically IMO since the early season and he finished off really strong. His shooting still needs to improve but I think it will, and he's shown a LOT more confidence and swag. I think he's going to be a key player for us next year and the years following and I'm really excited for him to contribute.
Padgett/Pankey/Len - We pretty much knew our post presence would be an issue this season with the loss of Jordan Williams, and I don't think it every really got resolved even with the addition of Len who we thought was going to be our savior. However, I don't think we can be too upset with the performance of our big guys this season. I think Padge showed a ton of improvement, he's a beast on the offensive boards, and really has some nice post moves. He still has a lot he can improve on (turnovers, passing out of the post) but I think he has the potential to keep improving. We didn't really know what to make out of Pankey at all because we had never seen him play, and I think most people would say he was a disappointment this year. I think it's tough to judge him too much though because I think he's playing out of his role. He should simply be a role player that plays bench minutes, not a frequent starter who gets serious minutes. It's not clear if he's going to stay or not, but I think he could be nice backup next season. And one quick note on Len, I think we maybe set the bar too high on him and we've all come to realize he wasn't quite the savior we thought he was going to be. That said, we can all see that he has enormous potential so hopefully he can improve on his shortcomings this offseason and be ready to seriously contribute next season.
Turgeon - Last offseason was a rollercoaster with the coaching search. I don't think there's a person on this site that wouldn't agree that we got the right guy. Maybe Miller's an overall better coach, who knows, but Turge is just right. He does everything right and it's what we needed. What he did with this team was pretty impressive, and you have to attribute a lot of the improvement (both team-wise and on an individual basis) to his coaching ability. He showed us a hell of a lot this season, and it's hard not be excited for the future and to see where he's going to take this program.
I, for one, am extremely excited for our new recruits to get here already and see what we have to offer next season. I think it's going to be a fun year. Let's hear what you guys all think of how the year went and let me know if you think I'm completely wrong about all of this.